After two years and at least four community-wide meetings centering around possibilities for a new library, community residents, at a fall meeting at St. John’s Episcopal Church, agreed that the East Asheville Library Friends’ chair would establish a small review committee to look at design options to be presented by architects and others in order to provide feedback.
The chair, Emily Cooper, contacted five people who use the library for varied reasons, who have excellent professional backgrounds in library design, services and/or use, and who love libraries. On behalf of the review group, she also sought written suggestions from a teacher of differently-abled children, as well as the East Asheville Library staff. She is still hoping for input from area military veterans who are library users and might have special concerns.
Earlier this year, the team sat down with architects, contractors, the County Director of Health and Human Services, Jim Holland, who is overseeing the project; the director of County library services, Georgiana Francis; and other County staff. (And, yes, the County has heard of your interest in saving the Japanese Maple and it appears that will not be a problem.)
The new library will be built on the current site, books will be packed and stored. The City Fire Department will continue to utilize the Tunnel Road portion of the property.
It is reported that the City –which owns the property– has been very cooperative. There recently have been some design and legal delays as the County and its contractors seek adequate parking, etc. A demolition date will be set in this year, but the actual construction will begin in 2019. Friends of the Library and others will be kept up to date as things progress.